On the evening of 17 November 2010, Gourmantic attended the Vessel Italian Launch Party at King Street Wharf in Sydney. Part of the multi-outlet Vessel Sydney with Vessel Café and the established Vessel Bar, Vessel Italian is the latest venture set to entice Sydneysiders with contemporary Italian cuisine.
DJ, Drinks and Canapés
Guests were welcomed with a selection of drinks including Prosecco, Bellini, Peroni beer, red and white wine while a DJ provided entertainment with upbeat sounds as the sun set over the harbour.
Welcoming guests with Drinks
With Executive Chef Keith Higginson at the helm, ex Sartoria in London and Aqua Luna, and together with Head Chef James Westbrook, they bring contemporary Italian cuisine with an emphasis on robust flavours in antipasti, pizze, pasta, risotto, bistecca and carne in a relaxed setting.
Assorted canapés with an Italian theme included a delectable fig and gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto, saffron risotto balls with mozzarella and basil and delicious mini tarts of beetroot and goats curd.
Rosemary and sea salt grissini with Prosciutto di Parma
Fresh black fig with Gorgonzola dolce wrapped in prosciutto
Seared Sirloin on focaccia with caramelised onion and Fontina
Bruschetta with marinated capsicum and Parmesan
Tartlet of beetroot, beetroot leaves, goats curd and marjoram
Suppli al Telephono: Saffron risotto balls filled with mozzarella and basil
Crostini with pounded raw broad beans, Pecorino, mint basil
Sicilian meat balls on toothpicks
Pizza Bianca with bresaola and Parmesan
Astoria Prosecco Lounge NV from the Veneto Region, Italy – Pizzini Pinot Grigio from King Valley, Australia
Owner George Vardis of Vardis Venues welcomed invited guests in his speech and introduced the new Restaurant Manager Roberto Fabbiano whose experience extends to launching renowned restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and London including Jamie Oliver’s latest ventures.
Proprietor George Vardis officially launching Vessel Italian
Restaurant Manager Roberto Fabbiano with George Vardis
We were delighted to chat with Roberto about his extensive restaurant experience and learnt that he has recently launched Jamie’s Italian in Redding and Covent Gardens, particularly since we dined at Jamie Oliver’s Italian in Canary Wharf last year. We were equally rapt to discover that Roberto has also launched another of our favourite restaurants, Bocca di Lupo in London, where we had the pleasure of dining at the Chef’s Table a year ago.
Proprietor George Vardis (L) and Vessel Italian Restaurant Manager Roberto Fabbiano (R)
Roberto, a native of Torino, is very passionate about authenticity and his philosophy is to bring a personal touch to the dining experience.
Later in the evening, we were treated to a visit inside the kitchen where we met Head Chef James Westbrook and his team. James, who has been with the company for nine years spoke of his recommendations and signature dishes: the King George whiting, the popular wagyu bresaola pizza and the Queensland king prawns with Limoncello and tarragon butter.
The wine list includes a selection of local and imported vintages including Italian style wines from Australian boutique wineries.
Vessel Italian kitchen team with Head Chef James Westbrook (R)
Prepping Wagyu Bresaola pizza
Head Chef James Westbrook
Much like the Cocktails at Vessel Bar we attended in July, the Vessel Italian Launch Party was a lively event in spacious surrounds. More photos of the night below.
Guests enjoying Vessel hospitality
View from the Podium
Trevor Clark (L) and David Masters (R) Ms Darlinghurst (L) and Miss Freakie (R)
Vessel Bar (L) Outdoor section of Vessel Bar (R)
Vessel Italian Dining Room
Vessel Italian is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday with function bookings and exclusive hire Monday to Saturday.
Gourmantic attended the Vessel Italian Launch Party as media guests.
Ground floor, Macquarie Building
One Shelley Street, King Street Wharf
Sydney NSW 2000
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